Basil Read creditors have overwhelmingly approved the proposed business rescue plan. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

PRETORIA – Basil Read creditors have overwhelmingly approved the proposed business rescue plan for the financially distressed listed construction group.

The company said on Friday that 99 percent of all creditors and 98 percent of independent creditors approved the amended business rescue plan at a meeting last week.

It said the amended plan was now binding on the company and its shareholders, irrespective of whether they were present at the meeting, voted in favour of the plan and, in the case of creditors, had proven their claims.

The group said further updates on the business rescue would be provided in due course.

Last month the company's business rescue practitioners said they believed a successful rescue of Basil Read was achievable and aimed to achieve this partly through the sale of the group's mining business and other assets.

They also confirmed that a total of R238 million in post-business rescue commencement term loan facilities had been secured from funders, with Lombard Insurance Company also making available a loan facility of an unspecified amount subject to certain terms and conditions.

According to the plan, the business rescue practitioners would consider any offer to purchase Basil Read Mining, provided the terms of any offer were agreed to by the finance parties.

Dividend

It anticipates the proposals in the business rescue plan would result in the payment of a dividend of between 70 and 90 cents in the rand to secured creditors, employees to be paid fully, post-business rescue commencement creditors to be paid in full and concurrent creditors to be converted to preference shareholders.

Despite uncertainties associated with the completion of construction contracts, the realisation of contract claims and the proceeds from assets identified for sale and immovable property, the business rescue practitioners said Basil Read's net cash flows indicated that an initial business rescue dividend equal to or better than a liquidation dividend could be paid within the next 12 months.

It said preference shareholders may receive further business rescue dividends from distributions that may be received from the retained business over time.

The prime objectives of the plan included facilitating the completion where possible of construction projects in progress; realising maximum value from a number of assets, including contract claims, assets identified for sale, immovable property, surplus construction plant and equipment and non-core investments; optimising and preserving the value of the retained business; achieving and paying a business rescue dividend that was better than a dividend arising from the immediate liquidation of the company, restricting jobs losses and mitigating the risks of guarantors.

Assets identified for sale include development land at Klipriver Business Park and Rolling Hills, Basil Read's head office and construction plant and equipment. 

It was anticipated that these assets would be sold between January next year and February 2020.

Basil Read shares closed unchanged on the JSE at 4 cents a share on Friday.

– BUSINESS REPORT